Catchy title huh?! It cuts to the chase, so we’ll say no more!
It’s taken me a while, but I’m finally beginning to settle into the new year and have been daydreaming about what might come. Part of the process is looking back at the positive things over the last year to get a clearer idea of what they were and maybe find a common thread. If I can do that I can look for opportunities in the future with the same thread. Good theory, no idea if it’ll work though.
I thought I’d try and find one thing a month from 2012, but I couldn’t! It’s probably due to injury (and lack of running in certain months) so here’s 10 things I loved last year instead
A new backpack for Christmas 2011! This fantastic Salomon XA25 pack is lightweight, fully waterproof, roomy and comfortable to boot. I’ve used it throughout the year for trail runs, cycling and walking. I love it and it really comes into its own on the trails. I plan to get a lot more use out of it this year.
Time for a break
I may have been injured, but this was once of my most memorable experiences ever. It was the furthest I’d run and in the most beautiful landscape. The rain was lashing down and the winds were high, but I was smiling all the way, no small thanks to my ‘support crew’ Linda, Stewart and Kim! A wonderful 28 mile challenge that I’d be doing again this year if I’d been able to train…next year though. Highly recommend it: Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series, South Devon.
Feet in the Clouds by Richard Askwith. I read this for motivation as I was training for the South Devon marathon and dipped in and out of it afterwards too. It’s one I plan to keep on my bookshelf; I really enjoyed it and want to read it again. There’s plenty about fell running history in the UK, stories about characters in the sport, beautiful descriptions of the mountains…but best of all, it just makes you want to get outside and run!
Running down a really steep hill in the 5 Tors race on Bodmin Moor, arms out like an aeroplane…weeeeeee!!!! it’s the little things that make trail running so much fun! I can’t wait to do this one again in 2013
Met Greg ‘Iron Man’ Hunt when he joined our running club. He’s one of the most unassuming, inspiring people I’ve ever met. At 26 stone he decided it was time to lose weight. And complete an Ironman! Until he joined our club, he’d never even entered a race. Talking to Greg, hearing his incredible positive attitude, and his self-doubts, is enough to make anyone feel they can do anything – and really enjoy the journey. Needless to say, Greg became an Ironman in Wales this September; read his report and then check out his plans for his next jaw-dropping challenge…
Greg Hunt, Fat Man To Ironman, 2012
The RAT Recce. I was really looking forward to this 32m event as it promised to be the highlight of the Cornish trail racing season. My running plans had to change (I couldn’t make it at all in the end), but I spent a fantastic afternoon out on the shorter course walking the route just to see what the terrain was like. It was stunningly beautiful and turned out to be one of the best afternoon’s I had all summer!
October – two things…
I didn’t get any running in this month, but found some inspiring reads to keep me motivated.
First off, a race report from Lake Hodges Trail 5k (USA) by Dax Ross of Dirty Running. Running until you’re breathless is life affirming, but imagine what it’s like with cystic fibrosis: breathing is an ordeal and running seems unthinkable. Dax’s sister Sharlie had this disease and early this year underwent a heart and double lung transplant. Just a few months later, incredibly, she was running her first 5k with Dax. We take so much for granted, complain about niggles and incessantly whinge about painful ankles (er, guilty…), but it’s nothing compared to what some people suffer. I think of Dax’s report and it helps me put things in perspective and regain hope. It’s an amazing story, I insist you go and read it!
Scott Jurek, Eat and Run. I needed something to help me think about the positive things I could do to improve my running when I couldn’t actually run (or do much else). Changing my diet was top of the list. As I write this with my ’5 months of no running belly’ hanging over my waistband, I can confidently say I’ve got a long way to go! But it’s helped me make a start and I’m really glad I found it. Whether you’re into cooking and food or not, it’s a fascinating read about the self-belief and commitment it takes to get to the top and stay there.
The Jog Test, or, the start of acupuncture treatment. Months of excruciatingly painful achilles tendonitis began to ease with new treatment. If you have AT problems, demand it: it seemed to be the only thing that’s had any impact!
New trail shoes, woohoo! Vivobarefoot Neo Trail. In hope of an active 2013 I asked Santa for some trail shoes for Christmas and look what he brought! So far I’ve worn them once and they were an absolute dream: comfortable, grippy in some seriously muddy conditions, debris free thanks to the gusseted tongues and ooooh just so pretty!!! It’s going to take all my willpower to take things slowly, so I’ve had to hide them away for a couple of weeks where I can’t see them, otherwise I’ll just be too tempted to put them on and head out to find a track through some woods!
So that’s it. 10 favourite things. And the connecting thread? Well, I need to reflect a bit more, but so far the words ‘trail’, ‘challenge’ and ‘coast’ stand out. So that’s where I’ll start planning for 2013, what about you? Do you have a method for working out what you want to do this year, or do you just go with your gut feeling?